Store of the future, here we come!
eBay Inc. and Westfield Labs said Wednesday the companies were partnering with retailers Rebecca Minkoff, Sony and TOMS to power a trio of digital storefronts in the Westfield shopping mall in San Francisco. Consumers will be able to buy curated merchandise from each brand via a shoppable window, pay with PayPal and then arrange for free home delivery or pick up within the mall for select items.
As Alistair Barr writes in USA Today, the digital screens are a boon for both eBay and Westfield. “Large, interactive shopping screens may help retailers generate more sales from existing space they lease from mall operators like Westfield and other commercial landlords,” he notes, while for eBay, “the technology helps the company generate more revenue and profit from the much larger physical commerce sector, not just online transactions.”
The digital storefronts work in a similar fashion to the 24-hour window shops eBay Inc. powered for Kate Spade earlier this year. Shoppers can browse from roughly 100 products on the digital displays and then make a purchase by entering their phone number. They complete the transaction on their smartphone.
The three new digital storefronts, which offer roughly 100 items for sale, will be located on the fourth floor of the Westfield San Francisco Centre from now until January 12, 2014. (See a slideshow of the windows at Fast Company.)
And these storefronts aren’t one-offs. Steve Yankovich, eBay Inc.’s head of Innovation and New Ventures, told USAT the company plans to put the shoppable windows inside existing physical stores too and that the company has filed several patents covering this new technology.
“This is not a pilot for us,” he added. “This is a thing we’re going to scale.”